By the grace of Allah, on the idyllic Hampshire countryside are marquees, filled with passionate young Ahmadis sharing their zeal in this year’s National Ijtema, with the theme this year placing particular emphasis on “The Power of Durood Shareef”. For the first time since 2019, the Ijtema is physically taking place. Once again Atfal and Khuddam brothers from across the UK are united, evoking feelings of enthusiasm and eagerness as individual and team competitions take place. With careful social distancing measures and masks covering each face, this Ijtema is a unique one, but the sheer gratefulness each attendee feels to be here is what makes this event so incredibly special and blessed.
One Khadim, Ismail Ahmad from London, described how special it felt to him to be here:
“If you think about it, how many events are happening due to COVID? Very, very few. For an Ijtema to be happening currently during COVID, and for Khuddam to get together… it’s just a remarkable thing.”
Certainly, the sole existence of the Ijtema is astonishing. Re-establishing the feeling of unbreakable brotherhood and enhancing the unity of each member creates a sense of enormous fulfilment for all. Not to mention the theme of the Ijtema this year is most definitely a spiritually motivating one for it educates others on the importance of Allah’s divinely appointed Messenger (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him).
The facilities in this year’s Ijtema are greatly organised, with humble volunteers helping set up the exhibitions. Another Khadim, Akram Ghauri from Southwest England told us:
“The exhibitions are a great part of this Ijtema. The exhibitions of the different magazines and the one on Syed Taalay Ahmad Shaheed are really relevant for younger people. Not to mention that the volunteering work, the people that set this all up, all the work that they do is inspiring; it shows selflessness.”
Furthermore, the number of attendees this year is what makes the Ijtema so special. The indescribable sense of cheerfulness that is etched on each attendee’s smile is what lifts the atmosphere to such a level that only members of the Ahmadiyya Community are perhaps familiar with here today, an exemplary display of diversity and companionship. The familiar sense of fraternity and belonging is what binds each Ahmadi here today into one integration. This was further reflected on by a Khadim working behind the scenes, Shehryar Sheikh:
“The Ijtema this year has so far been really successful, Alhamdulilah. One of our roles in the Atfal team is to try and maximise attendance. So, in my eyes, one of the inspiring things is the number of people that came to the Ijtema. Just seeing the fruits of all the work that has been going on behind the scenes, is quite incredible.”
Overall, the essence of this year’s Ijtema is outstanding. It is a quintessential example of unity, spirituality, and devotedness. This event has moved Ahmadis across the UK and encourages them to join in and relate their incidences of religious inspiration. The theme echoes across the hearts of Ahmadis not only in the UK, but across the world as people have been watching the events online. This ijtema has touched the souls of the deep lovers of the Holy Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). This ijtema will indeed be a memorable one—of course, the greatest rewards for attendance, other than the blessings of God Almighty, is seeing the Khalifah of the time: Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul-Masih Vaba.
View Khuddam Pledge as a Personal Challenge: Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V
Extracts from the speech of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V from the concluding session of MKA UK National Ijtema 2021
Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK was incredibly privileged to have Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba, address Khuddam at the concluding session of the National Ijtema—marking two years since Huzoor’s previous address at a Khuddam National Ijtema.
The address ranged from explaining the true purpose of organising Ijtemas, stating the responsibilities of Khuddam and their value to the Jama’at, as well as giving a challenge to Khuddam to strive for academic excellence in their respective fields.
Below we present extracts from the address.
From the outset, Huzooraba stated that despite the natural inclination to socialise after two difficult years spent socially distanced and isolated, “It is very important to recognise that the primary objective of the Ijtema is not merely for the Khuddam and Atfal to gather together and enjoy each other’s company. Rather, the true and overriding objective of the Ijtema is the spiritual, moral and religious development of the participants.”
Further explaining this, Huzoor said “The Ijtema provides a place for you to take a step away from the material world, and focus your time and energy on absorbing and experiencing those speeches, competitions, and activities that will increase your piety and standards of righteousness.”
“These Ijtemas are held to ensure that every single Ahmadi, both male and female, and regardless of their age, ethnicity, or social background, understand that they are each of great value and importance to the Jama’at.”
Huzooraba then spoke of the restrictions on Atfal, where only Atfal aged 12 – 15 years were allowed to attend the Ijtema. Huzooraba said “I hope in the future the need for such restrictions will be removed. But it was important for those aged 12 to 15 to attend, as this is a crucial age in terms of one’s religious and moral development. Having attended the various events, and programmes held specially to cater for their needs, I hope the Atfal will now appreciate their true worth and value in the eyes of the Jama’at.”
Huzooraba then stated “Indeed, all Khuddam and Atfal should recognise that they are of great value, and that each Ahmadi is a precious member of the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him).”
Talking about the importance of the youth, Huzooraba said “It is a fundamental truth that the children and youth of each nation have a great role to play in the progress and well-being of their community.”
To elaborate, Huzooraba quoted the second Khalifah—Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmadra—to explain the purpose of the Ansar, Lajna and Khuddam auxiliary organisations. Huzooraba said “If there is any weakness, laziness, or deficiency amongst the central Jama’at administration, or within a particular auxiliary body, the other bodies are there to bridge the gap and to take up the mantle, to ensure that the highest spiritual objectives of our community are fulfilled, and that the community of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) continues to march forward.”
“So, every member of the Jama’at, irrespective of whether they are an officer bearer or the members, should always reflect upon the fact that they have a personal responsibility to the mission of the Promised Messiahas”.
Addressing Khuddam, Huzooraba went on to say that “If the members of Khuddam display the highest morals, give priority to their faith, maximise their religious and secular knowledge—and above all, are those who act upon the commandments of the Holy Quran, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and are fully obedient to the Khalifah of the time, then the rate of progress of your Jama’at will increase manifold.”
Huzooraba then explored the importance of the responsibilities of the older Khuddam, particularly focussing on the influence they have on the younger generations. “Do not think that your behaviour or conduct is something that does not impact others. Rather, the next generation is looking directly towards you. And so do not let them down. Always remember, that if you do not pay close attention to discharging your duties to Allah the Almighty, and to one another, and do not seek to elevate your religious, spiritual, and intellectual standards, then you will not only be harming yourself, but also those who follow in your footsteps. You will be setting a harmful example for the next generation. And so, if they go astray, you will be held responsible”.
Summarising the importance of this point, Huzoor said “Just as the sun rises without fail each morning, our each and every day should give rise to glad tidings of the spiritual progress and advancement of the members of the Jama’at.”
Referring to the banner and official slogan of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya ‘A nation cannot be reformed without the reformation of its youth’, Huzoor said “View these words as a personal challenge to live up to […] you must strive to attain the highest moral and spiritual standards and to be a true asset for your nation and community. Otherwise, just to repeat these words without any action is utterly meaningless.”
Then addressing the younger members of the audience, Huzooraba reminded them of the example of early Islam, where “Very young men, aged 18, or 19 not only took part in the major battles of that time, but were given the rank of commanders. They acted with outstanding courage and manifested the highest levels of faith. So do not underestimate your abilities or think that you can focus upon your faith and religion at a later time in your life. Rather, even as teenagers and young adults, you should understand your value and importance.”
Offering practical examples for spiritual progression, Huzooraba said “You must be regular in offering the five daily prayers and do not speedily offer them without your attention. Rather, your prayers should be offered carefully with proper concentration, and with the true love of Allah embedded within your heart. Use that time of prayer to build your relationship with Allah. And do not just pray for yourself or your family, but also pray for your faith, for the Jama’at, and nation. Additionally, all Khuddam and Atfal should do Tilawat daily, even if it is just a few Rukus. You should try to understand the meaning of the Quran so that you can learn the best morals and know what Allah desires from you.”
Most importantly, Huzooraba singled out the quality of being truthful. “As you leave this Ijtema today, you should do so with the firm and sincere intention to always speak the truth, and to act with honesty at all times, and under all circumstances […] all Khuddam should understand that speaking the truth and acting with integrity is the means of gaining the nearness of Allah, whilst falsehood is equivalent to shirk — that is associating partner with God.”
“Those who purposely lie or deceive are no different to the idol worshipers who make falsehood their god, and who think that they will benefit from lying whilst fearing they will suffer if they adhere to the truth.”
Continuing on the qualities Khuddam should inculcate, Huzooraba said “Another very important quality and virtue that you should all develop is to become compassionate, loving, and considerate of others. Seek to establish the ties of mutual love, brotherhood and harmony. For a nation or community to be strong, it requires people to be united and to care for one another, and to share in each other’s joys and sorrows.”
Lastly, Huzoor addressed those Khuddam who are students or in higher education. “All students, whatever their age or level, should work diligently and seek to achieve the best possible results. And as you progress to adulthood, you should strive to reach the apex of your chosen profession.” Referring to the observation in the Jama’at that generally, girls are excelling more than boys in education, Huzoor said “I lay down the challenge to the members of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya to strive to redress this imbalance, and to endeavour to achieve the very best results in your academic career.”
Stating that it was God’s promise to the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) that members of his community will excel in gaining knowledge and understanding, Huzoor encouraged Khuddam to strive to be one of those who manifest this promise.
Beloved Huzoor concluded his address with the prayer that “May Allah the Almighty grant all of you the humility to truly comprehend your immense responsibilities and to fulfil your obligations as members of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya. May you fulfil the rights to Allah the Almighty, and to His creation, and be those who illuminate the name of our Jama’at in the world, and play a distinguished role fulfilling the mission of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him). It is my sincere and ardent prayer that you are successful in this. May Allah the Almighty continue to bless Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya in all respects. Ameen.”
10 Photos from today – Ijtema 2021 Day 2
Mian Waqas Sahib (former Sadr MKA UK) visiting the “Forever Alive” exhibition
Fun activites all around The Hub.
Khuddam participating in sports at Ijtema.
Khuddam participating in volley ball.
A joyful atmosphere at Ijtema.
Khuddam participating in cricket at Ijtema.
Cheerful and happiness at Ijtema.
Khuddam gather to see various sports at ijtema.
High Spirits all around at Ijtema.
Day 1 – Ijtema 2021 Photos
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